Two female Veteran discuss the increased risk of suicide faced by female Veterans and Service members in this recent article, "It's Time to Address the Staggering Rate of Suicide Among Servicewomen and Female Vets." As suggested by the title, authors Kate Hendricks Thomas and Kyleanne Hunter look at the significant statistical increase in suicides among this population.
Blog posts with the tag "Staff Perspective"
We all know the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Most of us feel better, physically and emotionally with some solid sleep the night before. A recent study suggests that rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep may be even more important than that. It may function as a protective factor, reducing fear-related activity in the brain. This reduction in fear may help prevent the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
As a Deployment Behavioral Health Psychologist for the Center for Deployment Psychology and a faculty member in a pre-doctoral Air Force Psychology Internship Program, I have ample opportunity to teach about warning signs and risk factors for suicide. I also have had plenty of patients and oversight of interns’ patients with substance use disorders, in particular alcohol use disorders. So, it is of particular interest to me to understand more fully the relationship between alcohol use (and other substance use) and suicide attempts.
One of the things that I have noticed over the years is that most people (including many clinicians and Service members) are confused about the clinical definition of “trauma.” These days, the word “trauma” has become a buzzword in our culture to describe negative life experiences that continue to have an impact on one’s life after the fact.
Depledge & Bird (2009) described the “blue gym” as an approach to promote well-being through being active in water environments such as surfing, kayaking, swimming, or walking along the beach. Being active can be stimulated by being near natural water. Stronger communities, stress reduction, and increased physical activity are three benefits from regular contact with natural environments. The blue gym helps us to connect to each other and the value of nature and our aquatic environments. There are some recent reports looking at the positive impact of surfing on PTSD symptoms for Veterans.